Printing Chinwag with Don Komarechka (Podcast 366)

This week, TWiP co-host Don Komarechka and I hook-up again to talk about printing, a passion we both share.

Here are the points discussed:

– Why print?
– A photo isn’t truly done until it’s printed
– Helps to hone your craft

– How big can you print an image from a typical digital file?
– Choices of paper: discuss our favourites and why

– Do it yourself or get someone else to to do it?
– How much does a good printer cost? Paper & ink?
– How big do you go?
– Expect to waste money and consumables while learning

– Colour Management
– Screen & Printer
– What does spending more on calibration gear get you?
– Why it’s necessary – prints come out too dark!
– Soft-proofing

And here are some of the images that I mentioned during our conversation…

5 Meter Wide Wall Mural

5 Meter Wide Wall Mural

Here’s a photo of me with that 24×48″ print that I mentioned. This was from a 10 megapixel image,ย embiggened in Perfect Resize.

Martin with 2 x 4 Foot Print

Martin with 2 x 4 Foot Print

Here’s the comparison between five of Breathing Color’s papers — All excellent papers, but reflectiveness is something to bear in mind, especially if you’ll be framing under glass or perspex, which adds another layer of reflectivity, unless you go for anti-glare glass. I actually just really like matte prints anyway, and Optica One, on the very left here is my favorite. Just look how deep those blacks are and how rich the rest of the colors are!! From left to right these are Optica One, Elegance Velvet, Vibrance Rag, Vibrance Luster and Vibrance Gloss . My favorite gloss paper is Vibrance Rag, the middle one.

Paper Samples

Paper Samples

By the way, if you buy anything from Breathing Color, use the code MBP20 for a $20 discount off any order of $20 or more.

And I thought I’d throw this in for good measure. My Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6350 printing out a couple of profile charts.

Printing Printer Profiling Targets

Printing Printer Profiling Targets

Here are the three main tiers in X-Rite’s line up – from left to right, the ColorMunki Photo, the i1 Pro 2 and the i1 Display Pro.

X-Rite Calibration Product Comparison

X-Rite Calibration Product Comparison

Support Don’t Snowflake book here, and more importantly get your own copy, or one of the other great value packages!


You can pick up my Craft & Vision ebook, Making the Print – Printing Techniques for the Digital Photographer – A MASTERCLASS here.

Making The Print Cover Spread

You can also read the article I mentioned, “Why Resolution Matters, But Doesn’t Matter”, in Craft & Vision’s digital magazine, PHOTOGRAPH Issue #2.


Show Notes

See Don’s work here:

Help fund the Snowflake Book:

Don on Google Plus

Music by UniqueTracks


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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Charlie
    Posted at 06:59h, 04 April Reply

    Thanks for the great podcast. A bit off topic but when getting a framed matted do you like to have the paper showing? Like a 1/4″ or 1/2″ “paper boarder” within the matting or do you have the mat right up against the picture edge?

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:19h, 04 April Reply

      Good questions Charlie.

      Whether I leave some paper showing depends on whether or not the image is signed. If it’s signed, I leave enough space around the printed area to show the signature. If not, I matte right up to the edge of the print.

      I’m pleased you enjoyed this Podcast!

      • Charlie
        Posted at 23:33h, 05 April Reply

        Thanks Martin ๐Ÿ™‚ So when signed you just leave a bit of space on the bottom or is it an equal amount on all sides?

  • Robert Linthicum
    Posted at 03:28h, 06 April Reply

    Very informative, first-rate podcast, as always. Thanks!

    As a D2HS shooter (not my only body, but tends to be with me), Perfect Resize has been a godsend.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 13:14h, 06 April Reply

      Thanks Robert! I’m pleased you enjoyed this.

  • Rick Sneath
    Posted at 08:52h, 06 April Reply

    Hi Martin,
    Great podcast. I have been using an iPF6350 printer for about a year now and have never heard about the ” Lightroom driver setting for new versions of LR4″ as you discussed in the podcast.

    If you could point me to some info regarding this I would be very greatful, or if it’s in your “making the print” e- book, I will purchase that.

    I’m on a PC using LR4 and PS CS5 if it is platform specific.

    Thanks again Martin.

  • Terry Babij
    Posted at 07:01h, 11 April Reply

    Great show, 2 of my favorite photo geeks!

    I too love printing. A question about signing images. When I mat and frame my printed work. Is it appropriate to sign the print on the photo or is it better to leave white space and sign there. A different story with Canvas wraps.

    I have been using a Gold or Silver ink type gel pen with nice results.

    Keep up the great work.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 14:38h, 11 April Reply

      Thanks Terry!

      I personally sign on the white, and leave a border around the image in the matte, but this is entirely up to you. Some people sign over the photo, and if required to do so, I’d be OK with that too. And yes, as you say, I sign directly over the printed area for gallery wraps. I use white, silver or black, depending on the colors I’m signing over.


  • Larry Borreson
    Posted at 09:28h, 11 April Reply

    Probably one of the best shows since I’ve been listening to you.

    Don verified something I always suspected; that is as ISO goes up, Dynamic Range goes down.

    Although very subjective, would you be able to elaborate, on a future show, when we might choose a matte paper over a lustre, or canvas, etc?

    Keep up the great shows. Your podcast is like a weekly visit from one of my photo friends. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 15:19h, 11 April Reply

      Thanks Larry!

      As a quick guide, I choose matte by default, basically because I love the look of matte photos. Reasons to consider though are as I mentioned in this episode, that matte paper under glass actually looks quite glossy anyway, but if you frame gloss paper under glass it can be highly reflective.

      If I go for a gloss, it’s usually the slightly textured Vibrance Rag from Breathing Color. It’s a beautiful baryta coated paper. And I personally rarely use a fully smooth gloss, but they can look nice.

      I use canvas of course when creating a gallery wrap, but unlike Don, I use the matte Lyve Canvas, rather than gloss. Again, I just prefer matte and low reflections. It’s really just personal preference.


  • t.linn
    Posted at 05:54h, 17 June Reply

    You’ve talked about those giant prints you made for the lunchroom before but actually seeing them that big is…wow. How fun!

  • Shane
    Posted at 14:38h, 19 May Reply

    embiggened? Love it. Thanks for the podcast. It’s helped us a lot.

  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 15:32h, 19 May Reply

    You’re welcome Shane. Thanks for listening.

    Embiggening; it really is a word! ๐Ÿ™‚

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